Andy Roddick's transition from the tennis court to the rocking chair was delayed when the former world No. 1 reached the third round of the U.S.
Open on Friday, joining a parade of former champions advancing at the year's final grand slam.
Roddick, who announced Thursday he would retire at the end of the tournament, served his way past rising Australian talent Bernard Tomic 6-3 6-4 6-0 in his second-round match at raucous Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Joining the 2003 U.S. Open champion in the winner's circle Friday were former titlists Novak Djokovic, Samantha Stosur, Maria Sharapova, Juan Martin Del Potro and Lleyton Hewitt.
One favourite who was shown the door was China's Li Na, who became the latest victim of British giantkiller Laura Robson.
None of Friday's array of former champions excited the passions of the Flushing Meadows faithful more than Roddick, the neversay-die Texan who never saw a fight he did not like.
Roddick, 30, blasted 13 aces in the one hour, 27minute rout under the lights.
He said he became emotional 15 minutes before the match when he saw a tribute to his career being shown on a television in the locker room.
"Oh man, that was so much fun," Roddick told the crowd in his on-court inter-view. "I really appreciate that, thank you guys. I just wanted to come out and be aggressive.
"I'm going to try to stick around a little longer."
The defending champions at the National Tennis Center had little trouble advancing, as Djokovic blitzed Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-2 6-1 6-2 in sun-drenched Ashe Stadium, while Stosur sent off American Vavara Lepchenko 7-6 6-2 on the same court to reach the women's fourth round.